File Photo. Wesleyan star running back Kyle Karempelis (24) leads a diversified Wolves offense.
The defensive look Seminole County used against the Wesleyan offense was no surprise and it won't be the last time this season the Wolves see nine defenders in the box.
Class A's third-ranked team returns one of the most prolific running backs in Gwinnett history -- Kyle Karempelis -- so opposing defenses are geared up to slow him down. That doesn't happen too often with Karempelis, who has a good chance of passing the 4,000-yard mark for his career Friday at Elbert County.
But when teams put so much attention on Karempelis, it's up to a new starter at quarterback to deliver in the passing game. So far Andrew Frerking has done just that.
The 6-foot-4 senior had 240 passing yards and four touchdowns in the 38-20, season-opening win over Seminole.
"Offensively we were clicking on all cylinders," Wesleyan head coach Franklin Pridgen said. "They put nine in the box to stop Kyle and Frerking really rose to the occasion. ... He's an unknown weapon for us because he played behind (Georgia baseball player) Conor (Welton) last year, but we've got supreme confidence in him. Friday night was his first varsity start ever and he did a great job. He was crisp, confident and showed a lot of poise."
Karempelis, a workhorse as the Wolves reached the quarterfinals last season and won state in 2008, also did his usual work in the opener. He had 226 all-purpose yards and three TDs.
"I fully expect to see nine guys in the box against us (all year)," Pridgen said. "Most of the success we had with Kyle last week came when we pulled his fullback and tight end and put in wide receivers to spread the field out."
A revamped offensive front also fared well for the Wolves. Georgia commitment David Andrews was dominant, but the four new starters flanking him also had a solid game.
That group will be tested this week by a perennially strong Elbert County program that beat Stephens County in its opener.
"We did fine up front," Pridgen said. "We've got some guys who are very capable and physically capable, it's just a question of getting the experience."
Buford preparing for 'the best'
While putting together one of the best runs ever by a Georgia football program, Buford has played some pretty good opposition.
The top-ranked Wolves face another of those teams Friday in Carver-Columbus, a foe that head coach Jess Simpson said "is one of the best, if not the best team we've played since I've been here."
Carver, ranked second in AA behind Buford, hosts the matchup that features two head coaches who played together at Auburn, Simpson and Carver's Dell McGee. McGee doesn't have the handful of state title rings like Simpson, but he doesn't lack talent with four high-level senior prospects led by running back Isaiah Crowell.
The 6-foot, 210-pounder with 4.4-second speed in the 40-yard dash is a coveted five-star recruit by Scout.com, ranked as the No. 2 running back in the nation. He has offers galore, but Alabama, Georgia, Clemson and Florida State top his list of favorites.
"I've never seen anything like him," Simpson said. "He's a great combination of burst, speed and size."
He's just as impressed with defensive lineman Gabe Wright, ranked as the No. 7 defensive tackle nationally by Scout. His list of favorites include Auburn, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.
"(Wright's) scary," Simpson said. "He's big, he's pretty and he can run."
Carver's two most recruited prospects are joined by two other SEC commitments -- 6-3, 300-pound guard Quincy McKinney (South Carolina) and cornerback Riyahd Jones (Kentucky).
Amid the breakout of Brookwood running backs Nick Tompkins and Jamaal Cole, who each topped the 100-yard mark two weeks ago in the Corky Kell Classic, the Broncos quietly put together a solid defensive game.
Walton was held to 98 yards rushing and 70 yards passing against a Brookwood defense led by Zeke Brown's six tackles and a field-goal block and Cameron Lynch's 11 tackles (nine solos), three tackles for losses and a sack. Connor Hennessey (seven tackles, six solos, one pass breakup, one QB hurry) and Andre Sims (four tackles, one for loss, one pass breakup) also played well on that side of the ball.